When I was 19, and clearly a genius (just like I am now) I decided to get my tongue pierced. You may have noticed that I do not currently have my tongue pierced. It is not because I got it and realized I was bring dumb. It’s not because I listened to the admonitions of friends, family, or boss. It’s because I cannot get my tongue pierced – physically cannot. The darn thing doesn’t protrude past my teeth far enough. In fact, I can stick my lips our further than I can my tongue. With my mouth closed I can barely touch the roof of it.
But I never discovered that until I went to the parlor, stuck out my tongue, and wondered where the rest of it was. I guess that growing up, i was never a nanner-nanner kid (in 6th grade I didn’t have friends, I had books) i was more of a, “Hm, what does this mean about the world,” kid. So I just never had any reason to realize that my tongue was a short, stubby little thing.
It also means that I HATE tongues. I don’t want to french kiss, please don’t lick things, and by Jove if you stick yours out at me I WILL get the eeby-jeebies.
Have you ever read, though, what the Bible has to say about tongues? A quick check on biblegateway.com shows that there are 130-140 mentions of it, depending on the translation. And what are most of the passages about? About how your tongue can be a powerful, terrible thing. It can tear down in moments what will take years to rebuild, if ever. It can spout lies and evil and hatred. That it is hard to temper and dangerous when left to it’s own devices. Much of the mentions are in Proverbs, the book of wisdom, written mostly in idiom. And for all the things it can’t do (stick out, get pierced) my tongue is a powerful thing with words. They can build up and heal, or they can, just as often and far more easily, hurt, attack even.
I pray that my tongue may be tempered more spiritually than it is physically. For every word that I can enunciate, I hope if will be used to cultivate, to show and encourage people of the perfect Love God has for them. I pray yours may do the same.